For years, Black Friday has been both a great opportunity to get low-price deals on Christmas gifts and a source of no small stress for shoppers.
As online shopping has taken off over the past decade, Cyber Monday has become a holiday of its own. Not to be lost in all of the great American consumerism is Small Business Saturday.
The lesser-known of the three shopping days takes place each year the Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving.
Much like the door-busters and quick-clickers, there’s nothing especially official about the small business event. The program—now in its 10th year—began as a marketing campaign by American Express to promote small business patronage during holiday shopping.
The campaign has been adopted across the country and picked up by politicians, entrepreneurs and city planners. In small-town Rexburg, it’s been espoused by the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
Christopher Mann, CEO and President of the Rexburg Chamber, works each year to encourage small business growth in the region. He spoke recently with BYU-Idaho Radio about the event, which will be held this year on Nov. 30.
“We’re very lucky in Rexburg,” Mann said. “We have just what you need. We have small businesses, but we also have some big box store-type businesses.”
Mann uses the campaign to promote year-round local business support, in addition to the annual Christmas shopping spree.
He hopes to remind shoppers that “small business” doesn’t just mean hardware stores and donut shops. It also includes local medical providers, boutique shops, pharmacies, art galleries, marketing consultation, attorneys, carpet cleaners, vet clinics, and plenty more.
“Sometimes with the rush of Black Friday sales and the big advertisements that go on, it’s time for people to maybe refocus their Christmas shopping and what they’re doing on the smaller businesses and to support them,” Mann said of the event.
Many local businesses are family-owned and operated in Rexburg, as is the case in many small towns across the country.
Mann hopes to bring awareness of the opportunities that are already available in Rexburg for both businesses and consumers.
“We want to have a robust economy, but it takes people whose mindset is always shop local first,” he said. A mindset shift is indeed necessary if local business growth is to be attained amidst a market that is increasingly trading main street traffic for web traffic.
A complete list of Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce member businesses is available on the Chamber’s website.